Her heels tapped against the cold, tarred ground.
It was a chilly Tuesday evening, a day like any other – home, work, then home again. She strolled along the usual road uphill, the road back home.
A gaggle of ramblings echoed from a brightly lit house to her left. She chuckled.
She knew well what it was – an only mothers party night ‘out’. Her mother was there too, she remembered how her mother was harping on about this night for the past whole week, and literally jumping whenever she spoke of this upcoming day. A day seemingly so ordinary, yet it meant something magical and disparate for her mother. She was glad of course, glad that her mother could have a “day off” for herself – being a 24/7 homemaker wasn’t exactly the easiest job.
For 25 years, the one word that she could think of to describe her mother’s life would be ‘mundane’. Her mother gave up her dream to be a fashion designer after she married her father and for 25 years, she slogged through with frying pans, spatulas and vacuums. Her mother was a hero, a silent hero – at least that was what she was to her.
But she couldn’t imagine being like her mother. She could not envision herself giving up on her dreams, her life and giving them to a family she might build one day. Perhaps that family would be her life at some point in the future, and she would willingly give up anything for them.
But not now.
She wanted to go after her dreams – she didn’t want blandness in her life – they were what kept her going, they were the ones that made her look forward to opening her eyes every single morning. She wasn’t overstating, the flames in her blazed the colour of pure white – the purest form of fire. Even she was astounded by her own sheer determination.
At least this was what she felt 2 years ago.
But now, she wavered a little.
Wasn’t life for her now a little mundane – just like her mum’s? Aren’t they both similar, with the only difference being the version of mundaneness they had?
The life she seeks to shun, yet after so many detours, she still ended up where she always wanted to avoid in the first place.
She let out a soft sob, then came to a sudden halt.
Something to her right drew her – she didn’t notice this before.
A breathtaking piece of darkness, spotted with lights – red, yellow, all sorts – and towering architecture that lined up amongst the darkness. It was beautiful, it was overwhelming. The city at night was ethereal, and it somehow eased her emotions a little.
She lived here all her life. Yet for 25 years, she didn’t even once notice this spectacular panorama. Not once did she stop to observe and immerse herself in this beauty. Not once, did she decide to turn her head and look on the other side – the diverted path.
She smiled sadly.
What a fool she was, she thought.
Then, it hit her.
Amidst the mundanity, did she overlook the little sparks in life?
Did she generalise her mother’s life as prosaic, without even understanding how it really felt from her perspective?
Was it her blind adamant pursuance to run away, the one pinning her to this mundanity?
Was it her own scepticism of ever escaping mundanity the one that bounds her to it?
Did she, herself took upon mundaneness with her own arms – to choose to walk into the dire trap of banality?
“Thanks for the invitation, Emily.” A coarse, familiar voice came from behind.
She heard footsteps approaching her.
“Emma! Why are you sitting out here by yourself on such a chilly night like this?” a figure took a seat beside her.
“Hey mum, I was just admiring the view from here. Didn’t realise we had this amazing view sitting right in our backyard.” Her voice quivered a little.
“Wow, you didn’t know? I persuaded your dad to buy this house because of this wonderful view it offered.” She beamed, as her eyes lit up.
They sat together in silence – just taking in what the placid surroundings could offer them.
“How was the party?”
“Well, it was fun. Something like a wild ‘Mamas’ night, just without the weed or alcohol. And substitute that with recipes and Martha Stewart jokes,” she chuckled.
“You know, it’s good fun once in a while. But honestly, I’d rather my weekday nights be spent just chilling with you and dad on the couch and watching TV.” She continued, before placing her arm around her daughter’s shoulder.
“In the end, my family still gives me the biggest joy, excitement and fulfilment.” The corners of her eyes crinkled, along with a grin that brightened her wrinkled face.
In that instant, she finally understood.
In that moment, she felt infinite.
No longer was she bounded to the fetters of her own.